- Former White House Chief Strategist and Breitbart founding member Steve Bannon debated with Bill Maher about Trump, Bernie Sanders, impeachment, and more on “Real Time” Friday night.
- Bannon stressed his support for Sanders, saying that he doesn’t agree with the “populist” candidate’s “solutions,” but claimed that his supporters helped elect Trump in 2016.
- “The Bernie people helped make Trump president and they’re gonna help make Trump president again, because he’s been screwed by the Democratic Party,” Bannon said, in what seemed to be a pitch to leftists.
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On “Real Time with Bill Maher,” former Trump White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon used his time to make a pitch to Bernie Sanders supporters.
“Either don’t vote or vote for Trump,” Bannon said. “The Bernie people helped make Trump president and they’re gonna help make Trump president again, because he’s been screwed by the Democratic Party.”
The Breitbart founding editor and conservative political strategist has previously declared his intention to shape “the infrastructure, globally, for the global populist movement,” and he clearly incorporates Sanders and his base into that vision.
“I like Bernie,” Bannon replied to Maher after the host expressed his own disapproval of Sander’s socialist policies. “He’s a populist. I don’t agree with his solutions […] but one of the biggest parts is identifying the problem. I think Bernie has identified the problem.”
Maher and Bannon clashed over whether the Republican Party was to blame for policies that created a wider class divide, with Maher suggesting that conservatives pull a “bait and switch” about the issue, and Bannon claiming that Democrats are owned by Wall Street – minus Sanders, whose supporters Bannon continuously courted.
“Bernie’s been screwed by the Democratic Party. Look at the last week. They wouldn’t allow the poll to be released where he was up four,” Bannon said, arguing in favor of Iowa caucus conspiracy theories that Republicans are pushing to divide Democratic voters. “Okay, then they do this thing, as soon as the whole debacle about the count, as soon as he starts closing in, the Democratic Party says ‘Hey, let’s have a recanvass.'”
Bannon also compared millennials to “Russian serfs” who “don’t own anything, and they’re not gonna own anything,” which Maher implied was the fault of conservative policies. The host side-stepped Bannon’s pro-Sanders argument to say that the Electoral College was rigged in favor of Republicans, which his studio audience applauded.
“With this attitude, you know the beauty of it, we’re gonna keep winning,” Bannon said in response. “I love this.”
The former Trump administration member also argued for a more drawn-out impeachment, to show it “isn’t about Trump,” using Sanders as his counter-example.
“If Bernie gets in and you’re his adviser, trust me, the same thing is going to happen,” Bannon said. “If you think the neoliberal, neocon, national security apparatus is just gonna sit there and let Bernie as Commander in Chief make the decisions that he’s empowered to as Commander in Chief, they’re gonna fight him every step of the way and that’s why this thing has to be vetted.”
Discussion about Bannon’s “Real Time” appearance gained traction on social media, where left-leaning commentators argued that Maher shouldn’t give Bannon’s pro-Trump rhetoric free airtime on his show, while conservatives proclaimed Bannon the winner of the debate with Maher.
Meanwhile, Maher closed his segment with Bannon through backward praise, saying “I wish we had someone on our side as evil as you, Steve.”